Cookies are small files that are placed on your computer by a website to remember your preferences when you visit the website again. Google also places a cookie on your hard drive. As soon as you surf to the Google website, Google consults that cookie, after which the site is displayed with your preferred settings. Of course, this system only works if you do not object to cookies being placed on your computer. After all, every time you visit a new site you have to indicate whether or not you accept cookies and what kind of cookies the website is allowed to place. Some believe that a cookie is an invasion of their privacy because it tracks your actions on the internet and identifies you to advertisers.
Google's cookie is quite aggressive. It is put on your hard drive the first time you visit the Google site, and then records all your clicks in Google. A database is even compiled of your visiting behavior on the search results pages. For example, Google knows how often users (that is, you) click on the first search result and to what extent they view results lower down the page. Google says it uses this information to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of its service.
Google and your privacy
Advantages and disadvantages of cookies
If you do not object to Google collecting statistical data about your search behaviour, cookies can make your search easier. And some people even find it reassuring to know that they are making a very small contribution to improve Google's information provision.
The disadvantage may be that you are confirmed in your bubble. You are not encouraged to break new ground, and the fact that everything you do is being recorded can also seem threatening. The fact that Google says it cannot trace the data back to a person (though it can!), is reassuring for the time being, but hangs over our heads like a sword of Damocles. Because what if Google decides to link all your data (from search data and emails to purchases and credit card data) to your person and to use this commercially?
In that sense, it is good that Google is restrictive about this, but also that the legislature continues to keep a close eye on this.